I'm not sure when I learned there was no Santa Claus - it could have been when I saw pictures of my uncle dressed in a Santa suit, minus the hat and beard or when my two cousins sat me down and told me that Santa was really my mom. Both of those event may have come the same year, but I honestly can't remember.
All I know is that I knew the real truth about Santa at a very very young age.
However, since I was a really smart kid, I knew that I could never let my parents know because that would just ruin all chances of getting really good stuff. So, I never let on that I knew the truth.
In the years that proceeded 'the discovery of no Santa', I managed to figure out where my mom had hidden all my presents. Granted, all the presents were wrapped, but I could always count on finding them under her bed or deep in a closet. One year, I even found presents in the trunk of the car!
Eventually, my mother figured out what I was doing and mentioned it to my father. The following Christmas, I couldn't find a single gift. I searched everywhere - the garage, the basement, the cars, the closets. Nothing.
On Christmas Eve, two presents magically appeared under the Christmas tree. Naturally, I was excited that I hadn't been 'discovered' and that 'Santa' would be making a grand delivery as usual.
Imagine my surprise on Christmas morning when I opened the presents and found a two by four stick and a shoe box filled with dirt. I was devasted. What a terrible thing to do to a kid, right? But no, my parents were all proud of themselves; my father casually mentioned how children should never try to trick their parents, because parents will always find out.
When my tears had subsided, they presented me with loads of gifts, just like all other Christmases (as an aside, the reason I never found the presents is because my mother gave them to my godmother to hide - very clever!). I guess that's why to this day, more than 25 years later, I don't try to keep things from either one of my parents. I definitely learned my lesson.